Driving on a observe isn’t one thing most of us do too repeatedly. However as fans, it’s one thing all of us fancy attempting at some stage, particularly given the growing numbers of automobiles on our roads, and the unceasing growth of the pace/security digicam networks.
However how do you strategy your first-ever foray into the world of observe days? And, even when you’re a seasoned professional, is there something new you may be taught earlier than your subsequent one?
You by no means cease studying in life, they are saying, and there are all the time new strategies you may take into consideration and be taught from. For those who’re a nervous first-timer, worry not. Driving on a observe may be about pretty much as good because it will get on 4 wheels, simply so long as you stick to some golden guidelines.
These are: ensure your automotive is effectively and really up for its day on observe earlier than you set off. So verify the tyres, brakes and lights; flip up with a full tank of gasoline, as a result of on a observe you’ll burn by way of it quicker than you’d ever thought potential; and ensure there’s nothing within the boot or cabin that isn’t wanted if you’re on the market on the circuit. The very last thing you need throughout your first ever lap of Manufacturers Hatch is to listen to the toolbox you forgot to go away within the storage smashing itself and your boot to items.
Alternatively, you may rent a track-day automotive, or simply go to a circuit day the place the organisers present the automobiles for you, by which case many of the laborious work on the automobiles can be performed in your behalf. The previous is the most costly strategy to go, whereas with the latter you’ll by no means be totally let free within the automotive, so that you gained’t expertise the total pleasure of driving spherical a observe all by your self with out having to observe an teacher. It’ll be enjoyable when you’re a real first-timer, however you gained’t get the identical thrill as you’d if taking your individual automotive.
Begin slowly, step by step get faster
Whichever method you strategy it, driving on a observe may be terrifying till you achieve a little bit of confidence, and grow to be extra acquainted with the circuit and the best way a automotive behaves on it. It’s then that the purest type of driving enjoyment will both reveal itself in all its glory and also you’ll be hooked, otherwise you’ll depart the observe grinning, however feeling such as you’ve scared your self half to dying. Wherein case, honest sufficient, not less than you tried.
The important thing issues to recollect when driving on a observe are: stick rigidly to the foundations of the day, particularly those about overtaking. Don’t try to break the lap document on both your first or final lap, or any of the opposite laps in between. Begin slowly and step by step get faster all through the day. Take your time to work out the nuances of the observe, having ideally watched an on-board video of the circuit on YouTube. Loosen up, and revel in your self with out getting too carried away; you’ll get far more out of your time on observe when you depart with a smile in your face somewhat than a befuddled frown.
Most of all, actually think about what you are attempting to do within the automotive. Don’t fear an excessive amount of about what different individuals are as much as, however don’t swap off from them fully since you’ll nearly definitely get red-flagged, that means you’ll be instructed to go away the observe and be given a stern speaking to by officers.
Choose good, early braking factors into all of the corners to start with, then trim a few metres off these factors every lap because the worry subsides and your confidence grows – up to some extent the place you’ve nonetheless received a security buffer of a number of metres into every nook. Your brakes will in all probability begin to cross their greatest after only a few flying laps, although they’ll come again once more when you allow them to calm down correctly between stints. So somewhat than staying out for a 15-lap stint, do 5 or 6 laps and take into consideration the place you’re getting it proper and improper when you have a cup of espresso.
While you’re again out on observe, get on the ability as early as you may in direction of the exit of every nook, however not so early that you must again off since you’re operating out of room on the exit. Use the brakes and throttle easily however aggressively; smoothness is the holy grail on a observe, and applies to each single facet of your driving. So flip into corners with authority, however be calm and be mild along with your inputs. Attempt to choose visible markers to hit on every lap on your braking level, your turn-in level, your apex level and your exit level, the place it’s best to already be on full throttle.
Get these 4 pretty easy issues clear in your head and get higher at nailing them constantly, and it actually does then grow to be a case of becoming a member of the dots, whereas additionally protecting an eye fixed within the mirror for the bloke on a qualifier within the GT-R.
Additionally, change gear manually in case your automotive is an computerized, since you’ll have far more management over your trajectory, particularly below braking. For those who’re driving a guide, ensure these gearchanges are fast however clean.
Lastly, keep watch over your gasoline degree all through the day. The quantity of people that run out of petrol on their method residence after a observe day, effectively, let’s simply say all of us do it. As soon as…
Steve’s high tip
- Do your homework by watching laps of a observe on YouTube earlier than you go. Take note of the briefing on the circuit, after which construct it up step by step when you truly get out on the observe
Have a go – our 5 high observe day occasions
evo observe days
Quadruple Supercar Thrill
- With scorching journey, Goodwood, £335 for 3 hours per individual. Contact: 0345 640 8000, buyagift.co.uk
Formulation 1 observe days
Caterham Observe Days
- Varied tracks, from £150. Contact: Want2Race? 01332 470057, want2race.co.uk
Introduction to Drifting
£200 Observe Day voucher
- Drive your individual automotive, numerous tracks, £200 per individual. Contact: 01376 809001, trackdays.co.uk
Now check out our top 10 best track cars…